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Why It's So Hard To Poop When You're On Vacation

'Vacation Constipation' is an actual thing, apparently.
PHOTO: istockphoto

Now don't be shy, we've all been there. Just as the majority of us have experienced sunburn on holiday, we've also had the pleasure of constipation, too.

Feeling bloated, sluggish, and gassy and gross seems to always happen after you've jetted abroad or drove all the way to the provinces. But whyyyyy?

One expert has now not only acknowledged that "Vacation Constipation" is actually a thing, he's come up with an explanation as to what causes it. And, more importantly, how to prevent it.

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Gastroenterologist Vijaya Rao, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at The University of Chicago School of Medicine, has told Health that there are several reasons behind it.

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Long-distance travel resulting in limited access to toilets, a change in diet, and the simple fact of "not feeling at home" in a new bathroom are all to blame. 

"A lot of times it's just the change in routine, coupled with the extra stress of traveling," he said.

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So what can be done to keep yourself...regular?

According to Dr. Rao and Health, there is a three-point plan to stop Vacation Constipation. First, it's suggested you should consider taking probiotics before you hit the road or take to the skies, as these can loosen your stools.

Second, Dr. Rao says you should make sure you take regular breaks while traveling to walk around and stretch your legswhether this be on the plane or at a gas station. Apparently, movement stimulates the blood flow in both your legs and gut.

And finally, while also ensuring to drink lots of water, Dr. Rao insists that you should resist the urge to pig out on junk. Obviously, the temptation of burgers, fries, chocolate, and chips at the airport or on the highway is real, but your stomach won't appreciate it. Stick to nuts and fruit. And the same goes for when you reach your destination; Dr. Rao says it's fine to sample the local delicacies, but make sure you chuck in some high-fiber foods like vegetables, oatmeal, and lentils, too.

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So there you go. Hello, holidays. Goodbye, Vacation Constipation!


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.